I love it when bands show you a new side to their sound. I might be relatively new to the work of the Slovenian duo Center Mass Universe, but I thought I already had a good sense of what their music was all about. They tend to blend progressive rock ambience with cavernous post-rock sounds and intricate technical playing with explosive metal urges. But, as songs such as Rogue Star proved, even within that broad musical landscape, there are still plenty of new inspirations and sonic paths to follow – as with all the best bands, it pays to expect the unexpected.
And that is the case here as Butterfly Nebula proves to be a wonderful change from their usual big, overdriven sound. We know that Center Mass Universe can play the understated card; even in their most dramatic songs, there has been no shortage of spacious lulls or sweet and subtle breakdowns. Here, those much more calming creativity and measured musical moods take the front seat.
For a large part, the song hangs on a pedal riff, an anchor point for a harmonic and hypnotic, repetitious round. Around it, the music cycles and circles like a sonic whirlpool, a wash of gentle and soothing sounds. And then, in the most brilliantly unexpected ways, that riff is transformed. Dance beats break out underneath where the exotic thump of tabla drums had once been, electronic vibes replace the more organic sounds, and the song itself emerges as a late-night chill-out for the downtown dance set, a blend of pulsing beats and shuffling synth grooves.
And that reminds you of what a dynamic force you face in Center Mass Universe. When you think that you have them pegged, when you think you understand the scope of what they do, they suddenly and gleefully throw you a sonic curveball to shatter your expectations. Comfort zones are not places that Center Mass Universe want anything to do with. And quite right too. I just wish more bands would be this brave.
More information at – https://centermassuniverse.com/home
Center Mass Universe release their debut album on 17th September 2023